Thursday 20 December 2012

A Memorable Day. Fishing on the River Kennet at Barton Court Fishery

Winter sunshine on the Kennet
Neither Dan or I, have done much fishing this month. Dan visited the River Taff recently, where he caught a few grayling. Meanwhile, my only trip this December, has been an afternoon spent in search of that 3lb perch we both want. Again it eluded me, but I did add an ounce to my personal best with a 2lb 9oz fish. We're getting closer! Anyway, let me tell you about this week! "Make the most of Tuesday" This was the advice given by the weather forecaster. The day was down to be dry and bright, during an otherwise wet and generally miserable week. So, a much overdue return visit to the Barton Court Fishery on the River Kennet, near Hungerford was booked. It has been over a year since Dan and I fished here but, on arrival, the fishery looked much the same as we both remembered it. Albeit, with a little more water running, due to the recent very wet weather. The weather today though, was as predicted, dry and bright. A roving approach with light float tackle was the plan and fish were forthcoming from the very start. Dan had a few small roach and I kicked off the day with a decent grayling. Several fish later and we changed swims. Grayling appeared to be everywhere and we both caught plenty on size 20 hooks, baited with maggot. The odd brown trout turned up to add a bit of variety, before I had two very memorable casts. The first produced a grayling of 13oz, a new personal best! The second and the rod bent over in to what was clearly a powerful fish, some aerial acrobatics and a few good long runs later and I was netting my first ever rainbow trout. Consecutive casts that I wont soon forget! During this time Dan had continued to catch well too and we agreed to stop for something to eat. After lunch, Dan put together a spinning rod and headed off to some likely looking swims to try and tempt a pike. I settled in to a new swim, sticking to fishing how I had done during the morning. Again, I found fish straight away and after only a couple of hours, I had caught more grayling, brown trout and dace than I cared to keep count of. Dan unfortunately, failed to catch a pike. For the last hour, the two of us sat beside a small weir pool. Here, Dan opted to fish a small maggot feeder. Both of us caught well, Dan landed his biggest of the day, a brown trout of about 2lb and I got yet more luck and caught my second rainbow of about the same weight. A great day then and as I sit writing this, the rain hammering on the windows, it would seem, great advice from the weather forecaster. More information on Barton Court Fishery can be found at and be sure to check out my two previous blog posts about this venue.

Grayling are plentiful at Barton Court Fishery

Thursday 6 December 2012

A Cold December Day. Fishing the River Taff, Radyr

Looking upstream to the weir
With a few hours to spare on a chilly Tuesday, I decided to try my luck on the river Taff in Cardiff. I set off to the Glamorgan Anglers Club controlled stretch at Radyr. A scenic length of river between two weirs, recommended to me by customer, Mike Richards. Travelling light by motor bike, to avoid the bridge toll, I was equipped only with a trotting rod and centrepin reel. A small chubber float, a size 16 hook and maggot for bait, was my preferred set-up, the plan being to keep moving, exploring as much of the river as I could, in search of the grayling, chub, roach and barbel, that this river is known for. I started just below the foot bridge, working my way upstream towards the weir. Plenty of fish were showing in most swims but unfortunately, beyond where I could easily cast to. The fish appeared to be staying in the deeper water, over the far side of the river. I kept feeding, hoping to draw some fish to me and after a while I started getting bites. These bites were very hard to hit, typical of grayling and I bumped several fish before slipping the net under a good grayling of about 1lb 8oz. No other species showed during the day, the cold weather presumably putting them off the feed. In hindsight, a feeder rod or big waggler would have probably caught more fish, but I had enjoyed a few hours on a new venue and with the temperature dropping further, I headed home late afternoon. For more information on Glamorgan Anglers Club visit their website at

A decent River Taff grayling